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October 04, 2006 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-10-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Intiative would affect students' ng hts to education

Pack your bags. Here comes
the bandwagon

other suffers from a chronic but curable disease.
There are no easy answers, and determining who
is deserving requires considering the foundation
of what we value - helping the poorest, bring-
ing the greatest utility or freeing those who suffer
from illness.
According to MCRI proponents, however, it's
simple. If one of those workers is slightly more
qualified, he deserves it. Race, ethnicity and gen-
der certainly have nothing to do with deserving.
A few will concede that socioeconomic status
may play a part, that those never had access to the
same resources their wealthier peers did deserve a
leg-up. Others won't go so far, demanding instead
a completely merit-based system. Let all those
who want to attend the University of Michigan
grab hold of those bootstraps and pull. Then let
admissions officials pour over each applicant's
test scores, grades, curriculum, and accept, reject
or wait list.
But test scores can be misleading. Worried stu-
dents with wealthy parents can hire a private tutor
to provide 32 hours of top-notch ACT test prep
through Kaplan for just $3400. Kaplan also offers
an ACT course for the masses, guaranteed to
boost your score - it only costs $700. But then,
curriculum, GPA and those all-important leader-
ship activities can be misleading as well. Some
schools don't have Advanced Placement courses,
the most fashionable predictor of academic suc-
cess. Some students have to work part-time and
can't run for president of the School Spirit Pep
At some point, there is subjectivity. At some
See BEAM, page 9B

LSA junior April Nilson, RC sophomore Caleb Davenport, LSA seniors Rachel Arnsdorf and Drew Guzman and LSA
sophomore Kim Leung are just some of the students that would be affected by MRCI.

andwagons are fun, right?
The Boston Red Sox
won the World Series two
years ago. Next thing you know,
every East Coaster - and let's
face it, everyone who wanted to
look like he was from the East
Coast - was sporting their pre-
faded BoSox hat to Econ 101.
And when last year the Chicago
White Sox won the Pennant,
breaking yet another curse,
nearly everyone acted like they
had been dreaming Chicago
would return to glory since Lit-
tle League.
So when the Tigers clinched
their first playoff berth since
1987 against Kansas City nearly
a week ago, I was sure that kids
would be writing home, ask-
ing their parents to mail them a
Tigers cap and possibly a Rodri-
guez jersey. But to my surprise,
there wasn't much Tigers' frenzy.
A couple more kids were doting
T-shirts but on the whole, the stu-
dent body didn't seem to care.
Yesterday was different,
though. It seemed you couldn't
go a block without seeing some-
one in a Tigers uniform. And
given the enormous East Coast
contingent here at the Univer-
sity, you saw equally as many
Yankees caps and tees - at least
there wasn't as much BoSox par-
What I want to know? Where
the hell were all of these Tigers'
fans this season? Even on the cusp
of the best Tigers' season in years,
there was a general sense of mal-
aise among most of the student
body about the Tigs. Sure, you
could hear people talking about
the big homerun Granderson hit
the night before or the 20 game
lead that "no one will ever catch;'
but who knew about the sing-
ing of UNC ace Andrew Miller?
How about when we let go Dimi-
tri Young? Any discussion about
Matt Stairs or Brent Clevlen?
It was still shocking when I
made it to my first game this sum-
mer and saw fans in the stands. I
simply couldn't believe my eyes.
The best part about going to
Tigers' games when I was young-
er was running to the front rows
that were always empty.

The fact is, only a few people
on campus have been talking
about the Tigers consistently.
They are the same people who
made it to a number of games
this summer. The same ones who
have been neglecting their home-
work to watch games against
Kansas City, Toronto and Texas
- hell, the people who paid to
go see these games.
But if you think about it, can
you really blame these people for
not caring about the Tigs, and on
a more upsetting level, not car-
ing about baseball as a whole?
Let's take a quick look at how
America's pastime became a
gothic sport in Detroit.
The Tigers are essentially a
dynasty. As one of the longest-
standing major league teams,
the Tigs have fallen into and out
of glory throughout their his-
tory. Having won nine American
League Pennants since 1907 and
four World Series titles dating
back to 1935 (the latest being
1984), the Tigers have made their
presence known throughout the
game's history.
But within the last 20 or so
years, the Tigers have, and let's
face it, been absolutely atro-
cious..With many 100-loss sea-
sons, there hasn't been much
reason for Detroit youngsters to
care about the sport - and since
most of us weren't even born
to see the last Tigers' Pennant,
many probably never cared about
them. They haven't even been
respectable since the late '80s.
Sure, they had their top-notch
players and an iconic manager
in Sparky Anderson, but besides
that, there really wasn't any rea-
son to pay much attention to our
feline friends - and speaking of
feline heroes, when are the Lions
going to be relevant?
Back to baseball. It's nearly
impossible to blame everyone for
the lack of interest in the Tigers.
To be honest, since the Major
League strike in 1994 that cre-
ated the first cancellation of the
World Series since 1904, base-
ball has been on the decline alto-
gether. Fans stopped caring for
their hometown teams and the
game in general.

A gentleman's game in con-
temporary society simply isn't
possible. The pace of the game
is slower than the largest sports
in the United States (football
and basketball). Most people
don't have the patience for the
game, while most kids don't
want to play it - especially
those banished to the outfield
at a time when most kids can't
hit the ball past the pitcher. And
who could really blame them?
Baseball is mostly the pitcher/
hitter battle. If you don't under-
stand it, or if you're not directly
involved in it, the game really
can be boring.
But as a former pitcher, base-
ball has always been extremely
intricate and almost always

enthralling. Watching how cer-
tain hitters are fielded or what
offensive moves and chances a
manager takes is the heart of the
game and surprisingly interest-
ing. But I can certainly under-
stand why people might not care
about the game.
In the days of yore, when fami-
lies averaged somewhere around
four children and everyone loved
double-headers, peanuts and a
good game of catch, it was easy
for the neighborhood to get a drop
in game going. Because it really
does take 18 players to have a good
game of baseball. There's no way
to play a five vs. five game. This
only adds to the decline of the
game where sports like basketball
and football are much easier to put

ennifer Gratz's prominence in the campaign
for the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative is curi-
ous: Few ballot initiatives draw so heavily on
the story of one person. Gratz has a reason
to be upset. Back in 1995, the eager high school
senior applied to the University and didn't get in.
At the time, the College of Literature, Science,
and the Arts used an admissions process that was
later deemed unconstitutional - namely, a point
system that gave each applicant a score based on
all sorts of factors, including SAT or ACT score,
GPA, legacy or athlete status, socio-economic
status and, of course, race.
Gratz had her day in court, and the U.S. Supreme
Court ruled that indeed, the system was unconsti-
tutional. The University could have all the "com-
pelling interest in diversity" that it wanted, but
the explicit use of points was, well, too much. The
end result of the case was not only that thousands
of applicants have to write a few more essays - It
was her partnership with Ward Connerly to put
an end to affirmative action programs in college
admissions and in the public sector entirely.
The argument goes that by considering race in
college admissions, universities are practicing
discrimination, letting immutable factors like race
trump merit. That is, in a nation that should be

together on a whim.
But now that my time is long
since past, my Little League
championship - that I pitch a
complete game for - and all-
star games a distant memory, I'm
left another one in a dying breed
of die-hard baseball fans. At
least when I'm old enough to join
some softball beer league, there
will be some intense games.
But until then, I know who my
Tiger is - for the record it's a
tie between Curtis Granderson
and Craig Monroe, with honor-
able mention going to Marcus
Thames for playing "Shoulder
Lean" before his at-bats. And if
you want to find me, I'll be the kid
with the Tigers hat on during the

aspiring to be a true "meritocracy,"
we are holding ourselves back by
selecting undeserving students from
underrepresented minority groups
over deserving students.
But how do we decide who is
Some would say that a high school
class president from a wealthy sub-
urb who graduates at the top of his
class and volunteers some 20 hours
a week deserves to go to the Univer-
sity. I would say that the 5-year-old
enrolling in kindergarten at Detroit
Public Schools deserves to receive
an education that gives him a chance
to go to college. Statistically speak-
ing, the first student has an excellent
chance of attending a good college.
The second student doesn't.
Deserving is complex. In his book
"Democracy and Freedom," Amartya
Sen uses the parable of a woman
who can employ one of three quali-
fied people. One man is by far the
poorest; one man is the unhappi-
est, having just lost his job; and the

Leave Your egwy
Become a Thunding Fathei
S 1 7 . 4 ( 9 3i551s
9g . o del ts8. ne8t

Who wants you
hired or rejected
based on
your skin color?
Accept the challenge.
Go to
(paid for by Race Free Zone, 652 N. Adams, Owosso, MI 48867)

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